On June 28, 2016, a coalition of consumer groups composed of Consumer Action, Consumers Union, Consumer Watchdog, Consumer Federation of America, and US PIRG filed comments to Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph T. Hudgens regarding the proposed mergers of Anthem-Cigna and Aetna-Humana. The purpose of these comments was to raise concerns about the mergers and their impact on healthcare in Georgia and to commend the Office for holding public hearings to evaluate the merger. Here are a number of specific points raised:
The mergers would result in substantial loss of competition in the individual insurance market. A combined Anthem-Cigna would possess 29.6% market share, and a combined Aetna-Humana would possess 58% market share. In the small group market, Anthem-Cigna would have 33% market share, and Aetna-Humana would possess 49% market share.
These mergers would also lead to a loss of competition in the large group insurance market. Anthem-Cigna and Aetna-Humana would control about two-thirds of the market. And in the ASO market, Anthem-Cigna would possess 71% market share. Finally, in Medicare Advantage Aetna has 9% market share and Humana has 22%, so together they would possess 31% of Georgia's MA market.
The mergers would result in the loss of potential competition in Medicare Advantage. Additionally, the merging companies have committed numerous consumer protection violations, and consumers needed assurances that these problems have been solved.
The merging companies claim that these deals will lead to efficiencies and benefit consumers. However, they have offered little evidence to support these claims, and there is no evidence that benefits are passed on to consumers. California Commissioner Dave Jones noted that the companies have repeatedly failed to provide information about any such benefits.
To see the full comments submitted to Commissioner Hudgens please click here.
To see the policy brief submitted by Georgians for a Healthy Future, please click here.
To see the comments submitted to Commissioner Hudgens by the Medical Association of Georgia, please click here.
To see the comments submitted to Commissioner Hudgens by Georgians for a Healthy Future, please click here.